Monday, August 2, 2010

DING tick tock tick DING tick tock tick DING tick tock tick

I played piano.

I thought of a couple different ways to start this blog but it was taking too long and the point of the matter is: I played piano.

I haven't in a while. A long while; in the last couple months the only songs I've played have been for accompaniment purposes, which usually involved me frantically trying to sightread Wicked and then giving up and just reading the chord symbols and playing the bass.

But tonight, I attempted to play from my classical repertoire. Real music. Bach and Mozart music (no seriously, their two pieces added up to thirteen pages of music I once had memorized).

First off, I suck. My prelude wasn't bad 'cause it was drilled into me, my fingers remember what my head's forgotten. Same for the fugue and Sonata. The waltz was messy, just ugly, fingers slipping, pedal mushing messy.

Le vent dans les ruines was funny and bad. Funny 'cause I remembered parts of the fast bits really well, like with the prelude, and bad 'cause the parts I didn't instinctively play were an awful slurry of octaves. The two studies were even worse.

In the month leading up to my exam last year, I lived these pieces. I struggled to stay afloat in the face of their hardcore classicalness, and I kinda got overwhelmed. Everything revolved around focus.

Focus. Capital F.

Not the cool, magicy hocus pocus focus but concentrate, practice, do it again. And again and again and again.

The Monday after my exam, I plopped down on the corner of my piano bench and considered playing. For the first time in months, I played without a metronome, without the pressure and the possibility of failure looming over me.

And I couldn't play.

I tried. My notes were okay but without the focus I'd stuffed myself with, the pieces couldn't--wouldn't--be played. I remember attempting the waltz and wondering where the dynamics went 'cause they sure weren't in my memory.

This evening, I was able to play the pieces--with the music directly in front of me and my eyes never leaving the page--but it was kinda hard. I remember being good at these pieces. I remember getting it right. That didn't happen tonight.

My 20th century piece was pretty awesome though. Apparently I can still play dissonance ;)

After I ran out of classical material, I played some much, much simpler sheet music and relaxed. Amidst my stacks of books, I found the music to Joe Iconis' "Blue Hair", a song I sang for an audition two years ago. It was a great audition, it's a cute--and funny--song, and even after all this time, I still like singing it. I think I'm going to learn the accompaniment better and audition with it for the talent show in January. Wow is that a relief.

Usually I struggle up to the last minute trying to pick a song--two years ago we decided to sing "Anything You Can Do" and learned the song and choreography in two days, just in time for the audition. Last year, I chose and learned "If I Were a Bell" and then switched to "See, I'm Smiling"--and then everything's rushed. This year, I have time to procrastinate!

So anyway, the heart of the matter is

I played piano.